Russia: the Noose Tightens

It was not that long ago that Vladimir Putin was being widely praised for saving the Russian economy from disaster. Many even argued that one should overlook Putin’s repressive acts since his economic policies were so brilliant and so essential to the nation (the same argument, of course, was made in the early days of Hitler). Today, the Russian economy is a smoking ruin and Putin’s apologists have nowhere to hide. Last week, the Vienna Institute for Economic Studies revealed that foreign direct investment in Russia will fall this year by a shocking 50% compared to 2013, whose level was already anemic. This will make Russia the least attractive economy in all of Eastern Europe by a wide margin. The VIES opined that Putin’s aggression in Ukraine was the major cause of these catastrophic losses, which would have dire impacts upon economic growth not just in Russia but throughout Eastern Europe, further alienating Russia’s neighbors. Also last week,...(Read Full Article)